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Your Blog Content, And Your "Next Blog" Neighbourhood

In November 2009, Blogger changed the nature of the "Next Blog" link. Originally driven by randomly selected entries in the "Recently Updated Blogs" list, the list was later filtered to block inadvertent surfing to blogs with undesirable content (intentionally published to host hacking, porn, or spam content). When the filtering became relatively ineffective, the "Next Blog" code was redesigned, to select link targets dynamically, relevant to the content of the blog being currently displayed.

This causes occasional confusion among bloggers and blog owners alike.
  • Some blog owners don't understand why their blogs now get less "Next Blog" traffic, even as they post more content to their blogs.
  • Other blog owners don't understand why they click on "Next Blog", and are redirected to blogs that don't seem to relate to their blogs.
  • Some bloggers don't understand why they don't get sent to interesting blogs, any more.

There are details, which not everybody realises.
  • Your "Next Blog" neighbourhood - the blogs which link to your blog through "Next Blog" - as both inlinks and outlinks - are dynamically chosen, and are relevant to your blog.
  • The inlink and outlink relationships are symmetrical. A blog that's randomly likely to link to your blog should be equally randomly likely to be linked from your blog.
  • A large neighbourhood - collection of mututally relevant blogs - will probably have a large number of readers, in total, reading blogs. A small neighbourhood - conversely - will probably have a smaller number of readers, in total, reading blogs.
  • If the nature of your blog makes it individually more likely to be interesting to readers who use "Next Blog", your neighbours should be equally likely to benefit.
  • Over the entire blogosphere, in general, all blogs will be equally likely to benefit from "Next Blog" traffic.
  • Even if symmetrically relevant, your immediate neighbours may not be 100% relevant to your blog. If you click on "Next Blog" from a neighbour blog, the blog that you get may be less relevant to your blog.

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Comments

Jan said…
I now never use the Next Blog button because the blogs I'm taken to are almost always written by sickly sweet moms in the US and relate to cooking, knitting and children. If those blogs are relevant to mine then I'm a monkey's uncle! Sorry, I don't mean to be rude, but the Next Blog button is redundant.
Becci said…
Ha! Funny but true...
Al Ngullie said…
I write on rock music on Blogger.Initially, it was actually quite difficult thinking about the benefits of networking and socializing on blogspot when the 'Next Blog' always takes you to a How-to-fry-eggs instructions or worst check-out-naked-Korean-babes or something in that uncomfortable nature.

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